This is a story about a large snake who was feared & hated in his own village; he bit and terrorized everybody. A Sadhu came visiting the village, and taught him non-violence and told him to practice Ahimsa. The snake heard and took the lesson to heart.
The next time the Sadhu came to the village – he was surprised to see that the snake was extremely battered and bruised.
Upon inquiry, the snake told him, “I realized the error of my ways and stopped attacking others. But when people saw that I was no longer menacing, children started throwing rocks at me… Even though I was wounded badly, I did not bite anyone… I followed the path of Ahimsa, but now people have started hurting me just for fun!
The sadhu shook his head wisely and said, “Yes, while I taught you the importance Ahimsa and I told you not to bite people, but I never told you NOT to hiss – even in self-defense!
Gandhian Ahimsa is not the real Ahimsa as described in Vedic texts. Gandhi was not the discoverer or creator of this concept. He merely took Ahimsa from the Indian Scriptures, and distorted its meaning to suit his agenda. (Ironically, when Gandhi implored Indian soldiers to go and fight the 2nd world war on behalf of the British – he seems to have forgotten the Ahimsa lesson).
Any wise Guru will tell us that making a choice to protect others and ourselves does NOT violate Ahimsa. To allow violence to occur does NOT express Ahimsa.
In fact, staying “neutral” is in reality, a form of action.
My father narrated this Vedic story of snake and Sadhu when I was a little girl, and now I tell it to my daughter. Let us instill the right values of self-respect and pride in our children. Let us tell them how great their culture and heritage is.
Let us tell them what Ahimsa and other Sanatana Dharma values really mean.